TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Henry M. Holmes Letters, 1882-1895
Henry Marcus Holmes was born in Bristol, England, on 1836 December 9 to Marcus H. and Elizabeth Holmes. Soon after his arrival in Texas in 1850 October, Holmes became acquainted with Shapley Prince and Catherine Fulkerson Ross and began a lasting friendship with their son, Lawrence Sullivan (“Sul”) Ross. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Holmes headed north and joined the Union army. During the conflict he participated in battles at Valverde, New Mexico (1862 February 20-21), and Fredericksburg, Virginia (1862 December 11-15). Taken prisoner at the battle of the Wilderness (1864 May 5-7), Holmes was exchanged in 1864 August and returned to the army.
Holmes continued his military career after the Civil War. Briefly stationed as an Ordnance Sergeant in Rhode Island in 1865, Holmes met Lucia Sheldon (1840-1918), daughter Ephraim and Nancy Kender Sheldon. The couple was married in Jamestown, Rhode Island, on 1865 October 6. When his army enlistment expired in 1868, Holmes re-enlisted and was stationed in Texas. In 1871 he was honorably discharged from Company E, Twenty-fourth Infantry, at Fort McKavett, located in Menard County.
A lawyer by profession educated in Europe and the United States, Holmes established a land and law practice following his dismissal from the army. He and his wife remained in Menard County, where he was elected Justice of the Peace in 1872. Relocating to neighboring Mason County with Lucia and an adopted daughter, May, a couple of years later, Henry Holmes played a prominent role as a prosecuting attorney during the “Hoo Doo War." He formed several partnerships with other lawyers and land agents over a period of years, including one with Mason County native Charles Bierschwale (1862-1945). When Sul Ross was elected Governor of Texas in 1887, Holmes served as his private secretary. He and his wife lived in Austin for four years but returned to Mason when Ross’s term ended.
Henry Holmes died in Mason County on 1895 August 17. His wife Lucia left Texas to return to the east coast; she died in Augusta, Maine, on 1918 November 26. Henry and Lucia are buried in the Gooch Cemetery in Mason, Texas.
Bierschwale, Margaret. Fort McKavett, Texas: Post on the San Saba. Salado, Texas: Anson Jones Press, 1966.
Daniell, Lewis E. Personnel of the Texas State Government, With Sketches of Distinguished Texans. Austin, Texas: Press of the City Printing Company, 1887.
Holmes, Lucia. The Lucia Holmes Diary, 1875-1876: The Hoo Doo War Years. Mason, Texas: Mason County Historical Commission, 1985.
Johnson, David. The Mason County "Hoo Doo" War, 1874-1902. A. C. Greene Series. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press, 2006.
The collection contains letters received by Henry M. Holmes and others. Included are three letters from former governor Lawrence Sullivan Ross that discuss personal matters and state politics. Two letters from Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Jr. refer to his application for a federal appointment and politics. Two brief letters addressed to Episcopal Bishop James S. Johnston refer to the church in Mason, Texas.
No restrictions. The collection is open for research.
Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.
[Identification of item], Henry M. Holmes Letters, 1882-1895, Doc 8967, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Gift of Elizabeth Estes Taylor, 1996 May.
Processed by Warren Stricker, 1996 July.
Finding aid edited by Tom D'Amore, 2011 January.
Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2011 January.